n. A desk that is not assigned to a particular employee, but rather is available for use and can be reserved in advance by a mobile worker whenever they are required to be in the office.
And this is a growing trend. Sue Rix, of BT's Workstyle Consultancy, which helps companies cater for mobile workers, says: "A lot of companies have hot desks and touch-down areas where you can plug in your laptop and download. The original idea came from the cyber cafes that were set up so people could surf the web."
Kathy Tilney, co-founder of Tilney Shane, the architects and designers who executed the project, says replacement of traditional offices with gathering areas and "hot desks" at the Waterside building was designed to encourage a more team-based and flexible approach to working.
We've been playing hot desks… When someone needed a desk, they would just sit down wherever there was one that wasn't being used.